Happy Mother’s Day!
I am in between my work trips and want to share with you a way I use all natural items around the house. As I have said before, my partner and I live in two different cities with household issues not everyone loves to talk about. Our place in the city I work in is a “garden level” room, i.e. basement. Spiders are an issue and man are they big! Then in the city he works in we have a 2nd story apartment across from a river. We have assumed our neighbors must poorly store their food, so not only have we seen a lot of spiders due to bugs around the place, but mice have been an issue.
Honestly, putting out to the world that we have had mice made me nervous because I had been taught it was something that made you dirty/messy, but we do not seem to have control over the presence of mice. We keep things clean and store our food in airtight containers. However! We were able to find brilliant natural solutions that does not involve traps or killing of any critters. 🙂
Pantry Bugs and Roaches
These are really all about proper food storage and cleaning up after yourself. First, you NEED air tight containers or at least bag clips like the ones from IKEA. Second, after you cook and eat, wipe down your counters and table, then sweep up at least the areas where food was prepared and eaten. Pantry bugs especially love to hang out in your flour or sugar, so air tight containers are a must! Though, I also store them in the fridge at one of our apartments which keeps them safe as well.
It is not as big of an issue in the Great Lakes region as it was for us growing up in Missouri and Louisiana along the Mississippi River, but you can still run into them in July and August. This year we are investing in a citronella plant for our balcony. I was talking with one of our neighbors who I noticed NEVER has cob webs hanging around, like the rest of us and she said it was all thanks to that little bush they bought. It keeps the bugs away and therefore keeps the outdoor spiders away. I am looking forward to finally enjoying that balcony.
Spiders and Mice
This really is our most common “pest” in both our homes. I personally do not have an issue with some spiders around, but I am concerned with possible infestation of and poison-ness spiders. Spider bites can be scary. Now, taking care of the other bugs do help with spiders, so that is why I started off with those. For this, I keep two things around:
- Hedge apples (AKA Osage oranges)
- Lemon and Peppermint essential oils
When the hedge apples start popping up in the farmer’s market or I find a osage orange plant, I get about half a dozen of them to place in different corners of the apartment. In the 2nd story apartment they dry out and we keep them around all year. In addition, we use lemon and peppermint essential oils, drops of them, in the corners of the apartment and behind or under furniture. We have noticed a significant difference in the amount of spiders since starting to use these around our apartments.
Story time, about a year after moving into our apartment, my partner saw his first mouse. He had never experienced mice before and immediately felt panicked and stressed. Naturally, with that state of mind he just did what ever he could to get them out. After some research though, we found some more humane options.
- We tried traps to catch them un harmed, HA! Those clever mice escaped in no time.
- We tried to block where they were coming in and they just squeezed through our or CHEWED through.
- I tried sweeping and mopping daily to make it seem like an unappealing place. They would just come in to have a little walk around the apartment!
- Lastly, I saw hedge apples at the farmer’s market and a sign that said, “Naturally keep mice away!” I thought, if this works, we do not have to move. THEY WORKED! Ever since we bought some and left them one in each room, we have not seen or heard a single mouse! THANK GOODNESS!
Please share any natural pest control methods you use! Also, if you are a fan of Bob’s Burgers like we are… Hugs Not Bugs!